Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Baby Flax!

Look what I found yesterday morning! The first flax seedlings in my garden pot experiment popped their little heads out of the soil in the early light of May 24th. They germinated in exactly 7 days. Cute little guys! It's hard to believe these tiny things will hopefully become about 36-inch tall stalks at full growth. 

Oh my, how they grow!

As of this morning, May 25th, the pot is full of little green heads. Although fiber flax likes to be densely grown to produce the straightest stalks and fewer flowers (fewer flowers mean fewer breaks in the final flax fiber), I will definitely be culling a few as they grow.

To continue the experiment with a staggered start, I seeded 4 new pots yesterday, so now I have a total of 8 pots of flax to tend and watch grow for the summer.

A question to put out there… do deer eat flax plants? There was a deer in our driveway this morning. Uh oh. Some research is in order!

Thursday, May 19, 2022

A New Experiment in Growing Flax – in moveable pots!

I am making another attempt to grow fiber flax (Linum usitatissimum) at Saga Hill. Flax requires quite a lot of sun to flourish, and my previous attempt to grow flax in my garden created very meager plants due to the lack of full sunlight. So this time, I am using portable pots. The pots will allow me to move the plants into more direct sunlight as the light direction changes through the summer. Since the root structure of flax is quite short, there should be plenty of room for their full growth in the 12-inch deep pots. 

I purchased the seeds from (a Canadian seed firm). They arrived a bit late (due to COVID delivery issues from Canada and supply issues) but still in time to plant, considering our late spring this year in Minnesota.

I broadcast the seeds in the pots (sprinkled them liberally) and put about 1/4 inch of potting soil on top. They are supposed to take 2 weeks to germinate. I plan to have a second planting in a few days as a fall-back crop and see how the planting time might affect the growth and harvesting timeline. A thorough weeding occurs when the plants are 6–8 inches tall. I may need to stake them for support as they grow, but that remains to be seen. About 60 days after planting, flowers will appear, but for only a day. When the flower petals drop off, seed pods form, and 80–100 days after planting, the stalks will be ready for harvesting (by pulling, not cutting!).

I am eager to see where this experiment goes. If the plants make their full growth, I will rett (rot/soften) the flax properly in a puppy pool rather than in snow as I did last time with the Gale Woods Farm experimental flax crop. Snow-retting was not a very stable process!

I'll continue to blog on the progress, so keep in touch!

BTW… My previous blogging site is still up at although I am not updating it with new posts.